The post election shuffle: winners and losers

Elections have unintended consequences that the average voter never takes into account. The political junkies have entire scenarios modeled in advance. No matter who wins and who loses- jobs are affected, careers changed and dreams created and hopes dashed.

For Ohio- kiss legal abortion in this state goodbye. DeWine will sign a “heartbeat bill” and more restrictions will be placed on providers including strict enforcement of the bogus “transfer agreement” laws.

You can also figure that redistricting won’t really change much in 2020- no matter how the process was changed. A full house of R’s won’t do much to fix the horrible gerrymandering.

The State Supreme Court is actually a bright spot- but, a few more D judges won’t change much.

The Ohio Democratic Party needs to have a housecleaning- as does the Montgomery County Democratic Party who have let our county go from Blue to Red over the last 10 years thanks to their protection of the “Friends and Family” plan.

Russ Joseph is a prime example. His 10 years of experience and believed “political acumen” lost him a job he should have been a shoe in for. He raised more money- but instead of talking about issues, talked about a man’s family. Of course, he won’t be unemployed in January- the Party takes care of it’s own.

The biggest award is the vacant county treasurer seat that will be open when Carolyn Rice takes over Dan Foley’s open seat. Will it go to Joseph as a consolation prize? Or John McManus? Or Dan Foley? This is how we roll. For Dan Foley, if he isn’t handed a patronage job or Carolyn’s seat, he’ll have to find a job in the real world for the first time in his life.

The bigger loser in this is Dayton School Board member Mohamed Al-Hamdani who got a job in the clerks office thanks to his buddy Russ. With Mike Foley taking over, Al-Hamdani will need a new “Friends and Family” job. Maybe they’ll give him the recorders office? Who knows.

Hopefully, we’ve seen the last of Adil Baguirov and his deplorable illusions of grandeur. He ran Dayton Public Schools into the ground, while committing voter fraud and living outside the district without redress. His business deals that he engaged in were questionably self-serving. If we’re lucky, he’ll pick up stakes and go back to advising crooked congressmen from a base of operations in D.C.

With Sheriff Phil “the Torturer” Plumer now a state rep, the running of the house of death will fall to the local Republican Party to pick. They’ll have 2 years to put their name on every cruiser, badge, and sign at the jail at tax payer expense, to get ready to defend the seat in 2 years, if at all. The local Montgomery County Party hasn’t been able to find someone to run for Sheriff reliably, and let Phil run unopposed last time.

The only place local Dems did really well was in running for judge- where the “D” label wasn’t on the ballot.

Everywhere else, they took a spanking.

There are ways to fix the Montgomery County Democratic party, but they involve bigger thinking than their “brain trust” can handle. The real issues choking Montgomery County are ones of duplication of services and too many banana republics. You can read more on www.reconstructingdayton.org

There will be recounts in some races, some ballot squabbles, and the state will remain divided and red, until the party of patronage learns how to be the party of the people.

In the mean time, the backrooms will be hard at work planning how to keep their friends in jobs- instead of worrying about their dismal failures.

 

Mike Foley- the only Republican who deserves a Dems vote

Russ Joseph is the kind of politician who gives politicians a bad name. He’s never held a job outside of party politics, and he’s never had to put his name on a ballot until this election. But, yes, you know his name, he’s the brains behind his brothers successes at running for Dayton City Commission.

Of course, if you realize that Matt Joseph is a really nice guy yet totally worthless as a commissioner, and that Russ is the total opposite, and a menace to society, you’re half-way there.

The sad thing is even if Russ loses this race, he’ll go right back to Daddy Mark Owens and work for the Dayton Clerks office until Mark resigns early and the party puts Russ in the drivers seat again.

So what makes Russ Joseph love politics and power so much? He’s best friends with Nan Whaley, who also, would sell her soul to the devil for political power, which they wield via patronage jobs and taking care of the “friends and family” of the Monarchy of Montgomery County.

Russ doesn’t give a rat’s behind about solving the problems of our clerk of courts system which is redundant, duplicative, embarrassingly expensive and stupid. Need proof? Read this post on Reconstructing Dayton about the waste involved in our multiple municipal courts in Montgomery County and how much they cost us. “How many court websites do we need in Montgomery County?”

Yet, with all that said, Russ is currently running TV ads smearing his opponent with claims of missed child support. Nope, not issues affecting our courts, but issues that as a clerk of courts he ought to be able to get right. Fact is Mike Foley actually gets child support from his wife, since he has custody of their daughter. Oops, Russ.

Foley has put out a low budget video on Youtube to refute it. Watch it here.

Full disclosure, I’ve done some work for Mike in the past. Nothing on this campaign. He’s a small business man, and a veteran.

Russ Joseph is a spoiled little man child with a mean streak.

I have no problems crossing over to vote for a veteran over a patronage teat sucking political hack.

Vote Mike Foley.

In other races worthy of crossing political party lines for Republicans:

And to all you Republicans who are looking for other tips- no matter what, do not vote for Adil Baguirov, our local “International Man of Mystery” who is a liar and corrupt. Vote for Brandon McClain instead. He’s another veteran and a great guy.

You should also skip Doug Barry, who is hypocrite, a bully and the last thing we need on the County Commission. Vote for Carolyn Rice. She’s a total class act and a professional.

Any one of you who votes for Niraj Antani should be shot, by white kids with long guns in school. (do some googling, Antani actually suggested that only suburban kids should openly carry long guns in school– I can’t make this up) Zach Dickerson could have the IQ of a third grader and be a better choice in the 42nd district. There are many Republican lawmakers in the Ohio House that would thank you for not sending him back to Columbus.

I’d also recommend not voting for Phil “The Torturer” Plummer in his race for the State House 40th. Anyone who is so incompetent as to let the crap that’s happened in our jail happen, should be banned from public service for life. He’s already cost you tens of millions in lawsuits. Vote Ryan Taylor. Please.

Court clerks are jerks in Montgomery County

We have too many clerk of courts in Montgomery County. We have too many courts too.

In the entire state of Wisconsin and Florida, there is one universal courts website. All cases, criminal, civil, probate, are managed in one place. They have one login per attorney, one set of forms, one set of fees, one set of processes- making it easy-peasy for attorneys to do their job. This also makes it easier for news organizations, background checkers, and for people who are trying to keep track of legal precedents and case law (like LexisNexis and Westlaw).

It’s also a hell of a lot more cost effective. We’ve been digging into the costs of the court websites in Montgomery County- and have gotten graceful help from some communities when we’ve filed public records requests, others have played dumb.

You can see the costs of each municipal court website on Reconstructing Dayton, our 501(c)(4) that is set up to research and then inform voters how their tax dollars and time are being wasted by unnecessary duplication and complication of and by government in Montgomery County.

You’ll see that Kettering and Miamisburg use the vendor case management system, Civica CMI from the firm of the same name in Englewood.

Vandalia Municipal Court uses a case management system from Henschen & Associates, Inc. in Bowling Green Ohio.

Oakwood, Dayton, Montgomery County Municipal, and Dayton Municipal have all been non-responsive. We’ll be filing complaints about their failure to respond to public records requests soon.

The insane thing is that none of these systems allow for online filing, or online case management and research. I just got a scan of the snail mail judgement that was mailed to my attorney in a case where a local harlot stole money from a Service Disabled Veteran that I had power of attorney for. That means anyone doing a background check, won’t find it, at least until we get the judgement recorded in Montgomery County Common pleas court. The fact that it can’t be accessed online other than a list of actions is criminal.

Screen shot of the Montgomery County Ohio lame court efiling website portal

It’s 2018 and this is the best they can do?

The County Clerks site is a home grown mess with its multiple domains. “ProNet” is one part and it’s efiling another, managed by Tybera out of Orem Utah, but it at least allows for online filing for civil and criminal cases, but not for probate or juvenile cases.

It’s time for a unified system in Ohio, but, we can start with working on it here. Franklin County has a single site– including their single countywide municipal court – which may be part of the reason Columbus is growing, and we’re losing congressional representation (among other things).

Which leads us to the people who “run” these courts. Mark Owens has been the Dayton Clerk of Courts since 1991. In that time, he has seen the rise of the internet, but still hasn’t made the effort to provide an efficient web filing system. Maybe, because it helps create work for the 45 patronage jobs he presides over. Mark is the godfather of the local Montgomery County Democratic Party too. He needs more people, because, well, they have to print out and mail all these documents- something that’s been done away with in the County Common Pleas court.

And, now, we’re asked to vote for his Chief Deputy Clerk, Russ Joseph, who was appointed by Mark and the Central Committee to take over the County Clerk job when Greg Brush “retired” to go work in Cincinnati for their Clerk of Courts. It helps to be an appointed incumbent running for office, even if you’ve spent 10 years not moving the Dayton Clerks office into the twentieth century. He was appointed Nov 20, 2017, he has to be on the ballot this November – and is facing Republican businessman Mike Foley, to run for the remaining 2 years of the current term.

Russ previously served with the Dayton Municipal Clerk of Court from 2004 to 2017, first as the Administrative Assistant for three years and then as Chief Deputy Clerk for 10 years. As Chief Deputy Clerk, he oversaw the office’s $3.6 million annual budget and 45 employees. This included the Clerk’s four divisions as well as administrative staff including the Chief Information Officer, Accountant and Director of Operations.

In 2008 Russ was named the Deputy Clerk of the Year by the Ohio Association of Municipal & County Court Clerks. Russ currently serves as a Trustee for the Southwestern Ohio Municipal Court Clerks Association where he’s been a member since 2004. He’s also a member of the National Association for Court Management and the Ohio Association of Municipal & County Court Clerks.

…He is also a Certified Court Manager, having completed a multi-year program through the National Center for State Courts Institute for Court Management and the Judicial College of the Ohio Supreme Court.

Source: About

All that experience, and not a massive move to consolidate and simplify the clerks sites throughout the county. His site makes no promises of implementing change, just, vote for me, I’m great, and btw- here’s a list of my fundraisers and that I raised a bunch of money.

This is incompetence.

As a builder of websites, I can tell you that it would be very easy to have one integrated county wide site, even with different front ends for each municipality. We do this all the time with open source content management systems. Unfortunately, politicians with a degree in “Sociology & Bachelor of Science in Political Science with a concentration in Environmental Science” missed anything about running a business or computer science.

We’re working on a campaign to bring this issue to the forefront, not just in Montgomery County, but statewide. If you are an attorney, a bill collector, an investigative reporter or anyone else that has to interface with this horrific mishmash of bad websites and inept clerks, and would like to support forcing the simplification and consolidation of online clerks sites in Ohio, please consider making a donation to Reconstructing Dayton. Because we are a 501(c)(4) your donation can remain entirely anonymous.

It’s time to get clerks that aren’t jerks in office and doing their job effectively.

First Montgomery County countywide citizen initiated referendum in the works

Reliable sources have informed Esrati.com that former Republican Party chairmen, Greg Gantt and Rob Scott are working together to write a referendum and collect the necessary 14,583 voter signatures to put the recently approved sales tax increase to the test on the November ballot.

The .25% sales tax increase was rushed through the county commission in a closely choreographed series of hearings where everyone and their mother who sucks at the county teat, got up and spoke in support of raising the sales tax.

The County Clerk of Courts Russ Joseph said we need it. He didn’t bother to mention that the stupid system of multiple municipal courts with their own clerks, staff and websites is a giant waste of money in Montgomery County– nor did he suggest ways to streamline government and save money.

The people from the “PreSchool Promise” came out in support also. An organization with ZERO public oversight, huge ad budgets, that exists to give public tax dollars to private companies running glorified day cares in many cases.

The list goes on.

The task of getting that many valid signatures stops most referendums on issues like this, as does the difficulty of writing acceptable ballot language. This is why we have so much overlap and duplication in government in Montgomery County.

Once the language is approved, petitions have to be circulated and then turned in at least 90 days before the November 6, 2018 election.

The tax increase is currently scheduled to go into effect on Oct. 1, 2018. No word on if the petitions are submitted that the hike would be delayed. The cost to retailers of having to implement the new rate should be considered by the County- and they should delay their action until after the issue has been decided once the petitions are approved.

This country was founded because of taxation without representation. To put this tax hike to the voters is the correct action.

The Republican lie about purging voter rolls in Ohio

The entire system of voter registration in the state of Ohio is a joke, as are the processes to get on the ballot, start a voter driven initiative and to change the State Constitution. We have local “Board of (S)Elections” that are run by the two political parties for their own edification. We have multiple voter registration databases instead of one, we have different tabulation systems and even different voting machines. Nothing talks to anything smoothly, and there is no standard system.

sample canadian ballot

Paper ballots, with standardized design, marked clearly.

As if the fiasco in 2000 in Florida with the “Butterfly ballots” wasn’t enough to tell us that we may have some fundamental problems with the way we manage our elections.

Compare the last ballot you filled out- to what the standard is for all of Canada. There is no question of who, or what you are voting for. The registration system is also national, not local. The real question is why is removing people from voter rolls so critical? Is it because of voter fraud? We’ve not seen any evidence of that (except Dr. Adil Baguirov and his business partner who were allowed to vote from a place they didn’t live- without consequence or investigation) I once identified something that looked like we had a problem with our voter database in Montgomery county- but no one seemed to care.

So now, our method of purging voters has made it all the way to the Supreme Court, which is absolutely fascinating, because, I have proof (I’m saving it for the end) that the purge of voters isn’t about anything but keeping voters away from the polls, limiting elections to the party faithful (the Monarchy of Montgomery County etc.) and nothing else.

In a spirited argument on Wednesday (Jan. 10, 2018), the Supreme Court appeared deeply divided over whether Ohio may kick people off the voting rolls if they skip a few elections and fail to respond to a notice from state officials.

Justice Sonia Sotomayor said Ohio’s approach effectively disenfranchised minority and homeless voters in the state’s major cities and was part of a broader effort to suppress voting.

“All of these impediments result in large numbers of people not voting in certain parts of the state,” she said.

But Justices Anthony M. Kennedy and Stephen G. Breyer expressed concern about maintaining the integrity of the state’s list of eligible voters.

“The reason they’re purging them,” Justice Kennedy said, “is they want to protect the voter rolls from people that have moved.”…

Ohio is more aggressive than any other state in purging its voter rolls. After skipping a single federal election cycle, voters are sent a notice. If they fail to respond and do not vote in the next four years, their names are purged from the rolls.

A few other states use similar approaches, but not one of them moves as fast. “Ohio is the only state that commences such a process based on the failure to vote in a single federal election cycle,” said a brief from the League of Women Voters and the Brennan Center for Justice. “Literally every other state uses a different, and more voter-protective, practice.”

Source: Supreme Court Weighs Purge of Ohio Voting Rolls – The New York Times

At the exact time this was going on, I received an automated piece of mail from the Montgomery County Clerk of Courts (the office Russ Joseph was just anointed to) addressed to my dead father (Aug 18,2016) asking him to report for Jury Duty.

One would think that when a death certificate is filed with county, that record would clearly be used to purge the voter rolls and the DMV registrations. Looking up my dad at both the state and local level, he’s not in the voter database, so how is he being called for Jury duty?

Must be his drivers license, which should have been terminated as well. Of course, when going to vote, a state issued ID is mandated, so wouldn’t it be appropriate to remove that record as well?

Being the dutiful son, I went to the website and filled out the questionnaire to request he be excused. He qualified because of his age, but- I made sure to fill in a reason he couldn’t serve “Because I am dead, Aug 18, 2016).

Imagine my surprise a week later when I got the form letter to the dead guy- that he was excused from Jury duty. Why thank you Russ Joseph.

Maybe it’s time Ohio stopped entrusting the voter rolls and DMV records to incompetents.

That may go a long way to stopping the argument about purging voter registrations without involving the Supreme Court.